The launch at COP28 of the landmark Oil and Gas Decarbonization Charter (OGDC), a global industry Charter dedicated to speeding up climate action and achieving high-scale impact across the oil and gas sectors, firmly put the spotlight on the millions of tons of methane (CH4) pumped into the atmosphere during oil and gas operations.
To date, 50 companies, representing more than 40 percent of global oil production, have signed on to the OGDC, with National Oil Companies representing over 60 percent of signatories – the largest-ever number of NOCs to commit to a decarbonization initiative. The charter sets out to align with broader industry best practices to accelerate the decarbonization of operations and aspires to implement current best practices by 2030 to reduce emission intensity collectively.
According to the International Energy Agency in the oil and gas sector, emissions can be reduced by over 75 percent by implementing tried and tested measures. Technologies such as the Metal Expandable Packers (MEP) developed by Welltec® are among the tried and tested solutions.
The issue of well integrity, which has cost the industry significantly, is a major factor in methane emissions. Technologies that address Sustained Casing Pressure (SCP) – a result of gas migration through compromised well casings – are particularly valuable. Solutions such as Welltec’s MEPs demonstrate how innovative approaches can enhance well integrity and mitigate methane leakage.
With over 1,000 MEPs successfully deployed globally, the effectiveness of these solutions has been proven. Including in ADNOC’s Bab field, where trials involving the deployment of 4 x 1214 MEP have demonstrated the technology’s capability to stop methane leakage.
These technological advancements represent a shift from traditional methods like cementing, which has been a standard practice for nearly a century. The modern oil and gas industry, with its focus on environmental sustainability, requires solutions that are not only effective but also align with the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The oil and gas industry is at a pivotal juncture, with the OGDC setting ambitious targets for emission reduction. The availability of innovative technologies will play a crucial role in achieving these goals. As the industry moves forward, it is clear that technology will be a key driver in reducing the environmental impact of oil and gas production, particularly in the area of methane emissions.